Portrait of Sebastian Munster
c. 1597-1600
Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640)
Not on View

As a young man, Rubens made many copies of sixteenth century paintings, but only a small number of them have been preserved. This portrait of an elderly man dressed in a black hat and cloak is a copy of a painting by Joos van Cleve (c.1528) which is now in the Prado Museum in Madrid.

Rubens' copy shows his characteristic streaky preparation of the under layer, clearly noticeable under the surface of the face, as well as his free brushwork and warm colors. The solidly painted hands and costume suggest an early date, perhaps before Rubens left for Italy in 1600.


  • Artist Name: Peter Paul Rubens (Flemish, 1577-1640)
  • Title: Portrait of Sebastian Munster
  • Date: c. 1597-1600
  • Medium: Oil on panel
  • Dimensions: 26-1/4 x 20-3/8 in. (66.7 x 51.8 cm)
  • Credit Line: The Norton Simon Foundation
  • Accession Number: F.1968.11.14.P
  • Copyright: ¬© The Norton Simon Foundation

Object Information

Ladislaus Bloch, Vienna (sale Frederick Muller, Amsterdam, Nov. 14, 1905, sold to);
John G. Johnson, Philadelphia, given in 1912 to;
Wilstach Collection, Philadelphia Museum of Art (sold Philadelphia, Samuel T. Freeman & Co., 29-30 October 1954, lot 202, sold to);
[Julius Weitzner, New York, until at least 1955].
Morris I. Kaplan, Chicago (sale London, Sotheby's, 12 June 1968, lot 85, sold to);
The Norton Simon Foundation.

[on loan]

  • Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 1969-11-04 to 1972-01-18
  • Belkin, Kristin Lohse, Rubens: Copies and Adaptations from Renaissance and Later Artists: Northern,
  • Campbell, Sara, Collector Without Walls: Norton Simon and His Hunt for the Best,2010, cat. 482 p. 303
  • Masterpieces from the Norton Simon Museum,1989, p. 52
  • Jaff√©, Michael, Catalogo Completo Rubens,1989, no. 373 p. 218
  • Friedlaender, Max, Early Netherlandish Painting: Joos van Cleve, Jan Provost, Joachim Patenier,no. 89a, pl. 103 p. 68
  • Philadelphia Museum of Art, Catalogue of the W. P. Wilstach Collection, Memorial Hall,no. 17, pl. 3 p. 7

Additional Artwork by Artist

Autograph Letter (Written in Secretary's Hand in Dutch, Signed by Rubens on Verso) Peter Paul Rubens 1618
David Slaying Goliath Peter Paul Rubens c. 1616
Meleager and Atalanta and the Hunt of the Calydonian Boar Peter Paul Rubens c. 1618-19

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